Presentation inspires librarian to expand lesson on good nutrition

A simple lesson on heart-healthy eating recently has inspired one HISD educator to take students’ instruction a step further.

More than 1,300 HISD students at four elementary schools learned how to keep their hearts healthy during American Heart Month, thanks to a series of interactive nutrition activities offered by the district’s Nutrition Services department.

But when HISD Dietitian Jennifer Lengyel discussed the difference between good fats (monounsaturated) and bad fats (saturated and trans) in her presentation at The Rice School, librarian Patricia Henry decided to make guacamole for her students so that they could taste avocado, which is classified as a healthy fat.

“After speaking with the teachers, I was inspired to grant their wish of tasting some (foods) with monounsaturated fats,” said Henry.

Lengyel said she was “thrilled” when she heard how Henry had continued the heart healthy education to help drive home and reinforce the nutrition messages.

“My job is to inspire students to make healthy choices in the cafeteria and beyond,” said Lengyel, “but student nutrition education is a continuous effort that takes ‘a village,’ not only of district dietitians, but also of teachers, staff, and parents. This is exactly the kind of community effort that needs to happen at every school.”